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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old February 11th, 2010, 09:52 AM   #1
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PMW-350 or EX1 with nanoflash

So many different forums, I hope i've listed in the correct one.

I'm in the enviable position of being able to afford a Sony PMW-350, or an EX1 with a Nanoflash and DOF arrayed with some nice lenses.

My rationale for purchasing the EX1, versus the tastey new pmw-350, is that the money saved from the 350 purchase could be used to purchase more goodies. Plus, I like the small form factor of the EX1.

What I am after is a rig that would be acceptable for broadcast. I intend on producing documentaries. With a Nanoflash recording from the sdi port on the EX1, would that signal yield 4.2.2 colour, and be acceptable for broadcast? I understand it's a higher bit rate.

Unless I have misunderstood my research, am I right in thinking that the EX1, recording sdi to a nanoflash, would create a high enough quality of product that would be acceptale to broadcasters?

Am I right or completely out to lunch?
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Old February 11th, 2010, 09:58 AM   #2
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Yes you are right, but frankly - if I were in your "enviable position"- I'd buy the 350...
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Old February 11th, 2010, 10:14 AM   #3
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I just sold my house, for quite a bit of profit. Almost like winning the lottery :-)

I was thinking that I could save some money with the ex1r, thus leaving enough to purchase things like a good slider, better lights, etc.

I've read the specs of the 350, and and wowed. Especially for the price. I read the specs on Sony's site then popped over to B&H to see how much they were selling them for, and had to reload the page because i thought it was an error.

No doubt about it, the 350 is a honey, but I need a smaller cam. I'm not often in a position where I have the luxury of setting up a cam on my sticks.

Frankly, the image quality of the two ex's blows me away. But I know that broadcasters look for other things, and thats fairly new territory to me. 4.2.2 colour, versus 4.2.0, long gop's versus wrong gops.... I just want to get it right.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 10:15 AM   #4
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Both Cameras are great.

And they in conjunction with the NanoFlash will be acceptable to the BBC.

The advantage of the 350 is superior lenses, shallower DOF, great shoulder camera, very clean picture, low noise, especially in low light. 4 chanels of audio.

The EX1 is lighter, less expensive, still very capable shoulder cam, (shameless plug here) especially with my shoulder brace system. Stronger Tripod Plates . NanoFlash Brackets . Sliders by Westside A V

What would be ideal is 350 A-cam, EX1R B-cam. If funds are no restraint.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 10:23 AM   #5
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You're THAT Olof. I stumbled upon your site last night and book marked it. I'll definately be picking up a bracket for the nanoflash, and what also caught my eye was the slider with the handcrank. I'm assuming the fluid head is an option or does one have to provide their own? I'll contact you via email to discuss this.

Thanks for the info.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 10:39 AM   #6
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Yes - he is THAT Olof :)

I have Olof's nanoFlash bracket for my EX1, as well as his shoulder support, and they are both great (please see my comments in this thread: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...nt-system.html)

So, my first advise to choose the 350 over the EX1 has probably been provoked by the fact that I could never afford a proper shoulder camera, and I envy you. If you can afford both plus the nanoFlash (or 2) - definitely follow Olof's advise!

Best of luck at your purchase

Piotr
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Old February 11th, 2010, 11:12 AM   #7
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Personally I bought the 350. I think it comes down to ergonomics and your intended market.

If you need a small camera and don't mind sacrificing a little image quality, the EX1 is probably best. I wouldn't buy the 350 just because you can, buy it because it is what you need.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 12:34 PM   #8
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James I own both the 350 and the EX1 not r. And use the Nano with both cameras. If you can afford both go for it but if you can't the 350 is great. But you say it is too big and need other gear so the 350 would be too expensive with the extra gear.

Then I would go for the EX1r. Since the price you see for the PMW350 is less then 1/2 of what you would need to spend before you are ready to shoot. A proper tripod for the EX1r would be minimum $1,500-$2,000 to have smooth pans/tilts. For the PMW-350 this number goes up to minimum $5,500. So you see how the bigger camera adds cost and this is only one example. I know people will say they can use 501 tripod but not at broadcast quality with any movement. I have a 501 and it is not even smooth enough for my Canon 7d. Good gear is expensive but pays for itself if you are putting it to work.

As for the nano I would not own the 350 if the Nano was not on the market. 4.2.2 is worth it alone for the Nano the bit rates are bonus and big bonus.

A slider is a great choice of gear but again you need to look at the weight between the two cameras and see the price difference there.

Go for the EX1r and set it up properly and you will be happy. At that point if you need more buy the 350 and the extra gear needed unless you can afford the 350 with all the proper gear. It is amazing and with great 2/3" glass stunning..
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Old February 11th, 2010, 01:31 PM   #9
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This is excellent info. Thanks to all. I gather, then, the ability of the EX1R to create a colour depth of 4.2.2 is a function of the higher bit rate facilited by the Nano?

I'm still a little fuzzy on this 4.2.2 business, gops, 8 bit versus 10, but the bottom line is that an ex1r with a non will yield footage acceptable for broadcast?

I "filmed" a movie last summer with an ex1, letus dof adapter, and a bunch of Zeiss slr primes and was blown away by the quality of the image. But I'm also aware that the pro's look for other things in a piece of footage.

Clearly for my needs the Ex1r is the better buy, leaving funds left over for a nano and other goodies. Purchasing both a 350 and an Ex1r is possible, but then i wouldnt have much left over to buy another house with. One can be in a worse situation :-)

You guys are wonderful, my deepest thanks for helping me make a decision.

James
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Old February 11th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #10
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James the higher bit rate and color spacing are two different items. They both help picture quality. Let me try and explain and please let me know if this makes sense or not?

I think if you had your DOF adapter and Zeiss SLR primes hooked up to an EX1r then recorded with and with out the Nano on a static shot you would see the color spacing.

Then try it again with and with out Nano and do a smooth but on the faster side pan, and you would see the benefit of the higher bit rate.

All in all both will help your picture quality one with deeper richer more accurate color and the other with more information being recorded to keeping the picture more accurate with less artifacts.

With the set up you are talking about buying you will have the opportunity to forget about gear and just have fun being creative. Sounds like you are on track for a very nice setup.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 03:08 PM   #11
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Indeed, that puts things a little more into perspective. I'm curious about your Lobstermen footage, what setup did you use for that?
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Old February 11th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #12
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That was when I shot in the helicopter with the EX1 camera on a custom Gyro system. I now use the 350 on a modified set up with better glass.

Sorry my pilot asked me to remove details I had posted. Don't know why all you have to do is see a picture of us shooting but I respected his request.
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Last edited by Paul Cronin; February 11th, 2010 at 03:48 PM. Reason: Pilot asked me to remove details
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Old February 11th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #13
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Geez, paul, i wish I had known of your blog before i even posted this question this morning. All the info i was looking or is in there, and more. Abel Cine is a find, too, and I talked to them this aft about all the stuff i will be ordering in the next week. Just have to figure out where to ship it to so i can avoid paying NY state tax.

Excellent review of the 350. That'll be my next purchase. I expect Sony will sell a ton of these.

Huge thanks for dipping into your well of enlightenment and helping me make my decision

James
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Old February 11th, 2010, 06:36 PM   #14
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The EX1 and PMW350 are both great cameras, worry not. I definitely prefer the easy handling of the EX1, also like shot transition mode and optical image stabilization. The PMW350 is a lot more hassle, but delivers clean images in low light.

The Nanoflash improves the image during motion and with interlaced video, but the XDCAM-EX 35 mbps HQ codec is surprisingly good too. I carry the PMW350, the tripod and Nanoflash into the field, and it's a strain on me to carry it all in deep alone. I'm still recovering from some health problems, and it's tough. Piotr and I need to get (together) with some sherpas to carry our stuff, or find some European Classical music masters and venus to collaborate on :)
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Old February 11th, 2010, 08:07 PM   #15
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Myself, as well, Tom. 48, and find myself huffing and puffing when hauling gear around. last summer I was dop on a low budget movie but was fortunate enough to have a lacky to carry everything, even move the camera between setups.

It's good to see cameras are getting lighter. At least we're not in the bad old days of lead oxide pickup tubes et al :-)
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